Making a case

Two guns found in a stolen vehicle following the driver’s arrest at Twin Lakes gas station in late 2021 resulted Monday in a three-year jail sentence.

But with enhanced credit for time served, Parker James Ardiel has just 14 months remaining on the sentence, which stemmed from guilty pleas to two counts: possession of a restricted firearm and possession of a firearm contrary to a court order.

In exchange for his pleas, which came on the eve of trial in B.C. Supreme Court, the Crown dropped eight other counts, including five more gun offences, plus flight from police, assaulting a police officer and possession of stolen property under $5,000.

Court heard Ardiel, 33, first attracted the attention of police in the North Okanagan in the early afternoon of Nov. 2, 2021, when he was spotted near Falkland driving a stolen truck.

Police followed Ardiel south through Kelowna and Penticton, then decided to arrest him after he parked his vehicle at the Twin Lakes gas station.

Crown counsel Andrew Vandersluys said Ardiel made an “attempt” to escape, but his stolen truck was boxed in by RCMP vehicles.

Ardiel, who has been behind bars since his arrest, later told police “he didn’t want anyone to get hurt and he was aware there were two guns in the vehicle,” according to Vandersluys.

Those guns, a loaded sawed-off shotgun and an unloaded rifle with scope, were found in bags behind the driver’s seat.

At the time, Parker was subject to a 10-year weapons prohibition that was handed down in December 2020, when he was sentenced to four months in jail for a crime spree that stretched from Saskatchewan to Oliver.

Defence counsel Justin Dosanjh said his client’s criminal activities arose from a long-standing addiction to opioids that began when Parker was prescribed painkillers for a workplace injury about 15 years ago.

Parker’s criminal lifestyle “culminated at the time of this offence, if I can put it that way,” continued Dosanjh, who noted his client is now receiving medication for his opioid addiction and has been placed on a special unit for prisoners committed to healthy lifestyles.

In a press release at the time, police said the chase of Parker involved plainclothes members of the Kelowna and Penticton RCMP detachments, along with an Emergency Response Team, dog handlers and RCMP Air Services.